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Westone 4 Appreciation Thread and Reviews (a.k.a. Westone 4 ?) - Page 79

post #1171 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftct View Post

does anyone know the release date of the westone 4s more specifically??
are you referring to when it was released? It's been out for a while
post #1172 of 5325

Yes, I had my pair on 15th Feb 2011. Some sites don't got it on the site yet though. I orderd from Variphone at December 2010 and they still don't got it featured on their site.

post #1173 of 5325


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

Has there been any comparisons with the UM3X? I'm wondering how the UM3X would compare to the 4


 

There have been plenty. Search around.

 

I don't think W4 is a more refined UM3x. I'd say it's a more refined W3. To my ears both W3 and W4 are tuned to impress high-end consumers on casual listen, and have crisp highs (I'd say too bright), warm mids, and punchy bass. The main difference being that W4 definitely tightens up the bass a great deal compared to W3, and without the bass intruding into the mids W4 mids sound a lot clearer, and are probably a bit less recessed too.

 

To me UM3x sounds a lot like cheap nearfields though with way more resolution. It's definitely oriented more for onstage play and monitoring than personal listening (though it's not bad for that too). It sounds flatter and more accurate throughout the mids than W3/W4, and its highs seem intentionally turned down to avoid long-term ear fatigue. Its bass is a problem, though: it's sloppy, doesn't go down all the way, and seems tonally wrong somehow. It's not worse than W3 bass, but W4 bass is in a different league altogether.

 

I don't think either is perfect (or even all that great in the grand scheme of things) but I prefer the UM3x. It just seems more accurate and less offensive, while the W3/W4's "hey look at me" style bright and aggressive presentation gets old really fast and becomes fatiguing. At the same time, I can see how someone that prefers that sound will find the UM3x dark and boring.

 

If I could have W4 bass with UM3x mids and highs, and maybe a bit better overall balance, I'd be happy. I think going with dual bass drivers in the next UM* is a good idea, provided that the overall form factor stays the same. And speaking of form factor, I find the W3/W4 to be more difficult than UM2/UM3x to get a good seal with, which for a consumer product is a definite detriment. I think if Westone wants to move its consumer line forward it needs to make it easier for people to get a good fit.

 

P.S. Unfortunately, there's still not a single universal in my experience that gets everything more or less right. If you want good sound on the move, go custom. The Stax SR-001 is probably the closest thing there is to a complete package and it's still bulky, uncomfortable, and fails to render deep bass convincingly (though its mids really are great).


Edited by catscratch - 3/7/11 at 2:32pm
post #1174 of 5325

what tips makes reveals the beauty of westone 4? im using the single flange and while it is good. its not so comfy

post #1175 of 5325
catscratch, thanks for your thoughts on the W4 and UM3X. The UM3X has always interested me based on impressions from other users but don't see myself holding onto it for very long if I do purchase it as I don't need another earphone that won't get much use.
Edited by rawrster - 3/7/11 at 6:58pm
post #1176 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post

There have been plenty. Search around.

 

I don't think W4 is a more refined UM3x. I'd say it's a more refined W3. To my ears both W3 and W4 are tuned to impress high-end consumers on casual listen, and have crisp highs (I'd say too bright), warm mids, and punchy bass. The main difference being that W4 definitely tightens up the bass a great deal compared to W3, and without the bass intruding into the mids W4 mids sound a lot clearer, and are probably a bit less recessed too.

 

To me UM3x sounds a lot like cheap nearfields though with way more resolution. It's definitely oriented more for onstage play and monitoring than personal listening (though it's not bad for that too). It sounds flatter and more accurate throughout the mids than W3/W4, and its highs seem intentionally turned down to avoid long-term ear fatigue. Its bass is a problem, though: it's sloppy, doesn't go down all the way, and seems tonally wrong somehow. It's not worse than W3 bass, but W4 bass is in a different league altogether.

 

I don't think either is perfect (or even all that great in the grand scheme of things) but I prefer the UM3x. It just seems more accurate and less offensive, while the W3/W4's "hey look at me" style bright and aggressive presentation gets old really fast and becomes fatiguing. At the same time, I can see how someone that prefers that sound will find the UM3x dark and boring.

 

If I could have W4 bass with UM3x mids and highs, and maybe a bit better overall balance, I'd be happy. I think going with dual bass drivers in the next UM* is a good idea, provided that the overall form factor stays the same. And speaking of form factor, I find the W3/W4 to be more difficult than UM2/UM3x to get a good seal with, which for a consumer product is a definite detriment. I think if Westone wants to move its consumer line forward it needs to make it easier for people to get a good fit.

 

P.S. Unfortunately, there's still not a single universal in my experience that gets everything more or less right. If you want good sound on the move, go custom. The Stax SR-001 is probably the closest thing there is to a complete package and it's still bulky, uncomfortable, and fails to render deep bass convincingly (though its mids really are great).


Thanks for the impressions. I've always enjoyed reading your impressions.  However, I would not call the UM3X bass "sloppy" although I agree the W4 bass is better than W3/UM3X (with better speed, control and proper quantity).  And I also agree the W4 mids are better than W3 mids, but I think it's the W4 that have the flatter and more accurate mids than the UM3X which are more forward for onstage play and monitoring.  And I agree that the W4 have just a tiny bit of of that fun "hey look at me" presentation that the UM3X lean away from in their slightly more analytical nature; but I would never say the W4 have a "bright and aggressive presentation".  I have them in my ears right now and I just do not hear that (Macbook Pro > DACport with 24/96 Carla Lother).

 

Rather, I think the W4 highs are smooth and grain free to my ears - they remind me more of an LCD-2 than an HD800 or Grado.  With a shallow insertion and single flange silicone tips I can make them sound a little brighter than with the modded triple flange, Complys foam or UM56 custom tips, but it's never bright or aggressive for me with a wide variety of sources and amps.  Something like the RE252 or Phonak PFE with grey filters would fit your description better, and maybe even the W3 with the wrong tips and insertion depth.

 

But we all do hear differently, with different ear shapes and physiology, and preferences.  So I am not saying you are wrong, just that I am hearing something different.  Cheers.

 

 

post #1177 of 5325

I just recieved my W4's today.  I've been listening to them for the past 3 hours on my iphone 4.  I was surprised by the fitment.  My friend has a set of W3's and felt that they were beneath the um3x in fitment.  The W4, on the other hand, fits better than the um3x. The larger housing create a tighter fit inside my ear.  The highs of the W4 are more noticeable than the um3x; but it's just a slight notch higher.  I don't think I would want anything higher.  I know most say that BA's don't need burn in, but I must say that I dissagree.  When I first recieved my um3x, i would sparingly hit the treble increase on my iphone to get a little more highs.  After listening to them for 3 weeks, the highs seemed to be brighter.  I knew they were brighter because when i hit the treble increase, I wouldn't hear an increase in treble.  Instead, the mids seem thinner.  So if anyone thinks that the um3x treble is too laid back, I think playing-time changes that.   I wouldn't say that the um3x bass is sloppy at all.  In fact, it's quick, accurate, and smooth.  I once read someone describing them as velvety.  I think that's a good description.  The only time it sounds sloppy is when it's trying to produce low bass.  I think the W4 is a tad better at those low notes.  It's very hard to say which one has more impact.  Well, while listening to "Jambi" from Tool, the W4 bass is slighlty fuller.  I'm thinkg the W4's may have a little more soundstage.  As im listening to "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath, i feal as if im watching them play.  With the um3x, i feel as if im in the band.  But it does change.  While listening to "When Can I See You Again" by Babyface, he seems closer with the W4.  I'm starting to confuse myself.  These are all initial impressions and may change in a few weeks.  As of right now, I prefer the W4 mostly because of the slighty brighter highs.  Thinking about all these differences makes me realize how good the um3x is.  It's really hard to choose.  Although I've always had a good ear for music, Im not good at expressing what I hear. As i keep on using the W4, I think I'll be able to chime in more specifically. 

post #1178 of 5325

The W4 have the most "echo" of any earphone I've heard. It's like you can hear a reverberation on some instrumetns. I've really never heard/noticed this from an earphone before. It gives the effect of hearing the music in a chamber.

 

For those of you have the W4, do you think that this is more a characteristic of the W4 or of the original recording? I've heard it most on both jazz and classical records. I'm curious if its an "effect" from the earphones or a "detail" in the recording I've never heard before.

 

Perhaps, those who are audiophiles outside of iems can help with this question, too. I've never had a home system or full sized headphones, only iems.

post #1179 of 5325

I hear lots echo and reverb in 1964-Q (which is a quad custom). And the echo appears in the jazz recordings mainly, but lots of reverb in instruments such as kick drums. I think it's just a matter of having a monitor that is allowing you to experience  more nuances and micro-details in the instruments' performance.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

The W4 have the most "echo" of any earphone I've heard. It's like you can hear a reverberation on some instrumetns. I've really never heard/noticed this from an earphone before. It gives the effect of hearing the music in a chamber.

 

For those of you have the W4, do you think that this is more a characteristic of the W4 or of the original recording? I've heard it most on both jazz and classical records. I'm curious if its an "effect" from the earphones or a "detail" in the recording I've never heard before.

 

Perhaps, those who are audiophiles outside of iems can help with this question, too. I've never had a home system or full sized headphones, only iems.



 

post #1180 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

The W4 have the most "echo" of any earphone I've heard. It's like you can hear a reverberation on some instrumetns. I've really never heard/noticed this from an earphone before. It gives the effect of hearing the music in a chamber.

 

For those of you have the W4, do you think that this is more a characteristic of the W4 or of the original recording? I've heard it most on both jazz and classical records. I'm curious if its an "effect" from the earphones or a "detail" in the recording I've never heard before.

 

Perhaps, those who are audiophiles outside of iems can help with this question, too. I've never had a home system or full sized headphones, only iems.

Hey imackler, the reverb or ambiance that you hear is part of the recording and is not strictly a characteristic of the W4. Full size cans or speakers usually do that better than iem's and I'm surprised the soundstage of the W4 is actually bigger than some of the full sized cans I have listened to ( Senn. hd 280 pro, Senn. hd 25-1 ll, B&W P5, AKG K181). That's one of the many things I love about the W4, that you can get a full sized cans presentation in an iem. I listen to a lot of live jazz and classical recordings and the ambiance captured in the recordings is just as much important as the music itself when a certain mood needs to be conveyed. With the right tips( Shure's Black Olives Foams) and amp, the soundstage of the W4 gets even bigger. Now one thing I have noticed about the soundstage of the W4 is it's shape. The TF-10, IE 8 have very good soundstage as well and the shape is pretty straight forward, left and right for width, front and back for depth. The W4 on the other hand seems like they managed to get the soundstage of the TF-10 and wrapped it around you in a circular shape, that's the impression I got anyways. The effects makes you feel like you are on stage( a very large one ) surrounded by the musicians rather than listening to them away from the stage, imo of course. The only other full sized cans that have this kind of shape for a soundstage that I've heard are the Ultrasone DJ 1 PRO.
 

 

post #1181 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burma Jones View Post

The TF-10, IE 8 have very good soundstage as well and the shape is pretty straight forward, left and right for width, front and back for depth. The W4 on the other hand seems like they managed to get the soundstage of the TF-10 and wrapped it around you in a circular shape, that's the impression I got anyways. 

 

That's how I heard the W4 as well.  A precise 180 degree arc in front of me.  Very unique.  


Edited by Anaxilus - 3/8/11 at 11:52am
post #1182 of 5325
Hello,

I agree with the fact that Westone 4's soundstage is wide but I will not say that it's unique. The SM3 soundstage is as wide to my ears.

Bye.
post #1183 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by sly_in_the_sky View Post

Hello,

I agree with the fact that Westone 4's soundstage is wide but I will not say that it's unique. The SM3 soundstage is as wide to my ears.

Bye.


If the W4 is an arc, the SM3 is a sphere w/ you in the center.  Wide doesn't make it unique, it's the arc that never violates my periphery that is.  If you think the W4 SS sounds like the SM3 I beg to differ.

 

post #1184 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burma Jones View Post

The W4 on the other hand seems like they managed to get the soundstage of the TF-10 and wrapped it around you in a circular shape, that's the impression I got anyways. The effects makes you feel like you are on stage( a very large one ) surrounded by the musicians rather than listening to them away from the stage, imo of course. The only other full sized cans that have this kind of shape for a soundstage that I've heard are the Ultrasone DJ 1 PRO.

 

Sounds like they're missing forward projection. I hated this about the SM3. YMMV.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

If the W4 is an arc, the SM3 is a sphere w/ you in the center.  Wide doesn't make it unique, it's the arc that never violates my periphery that is.  If you think the W4 SS sounds like the SM3 I beg to differ.


Ok, could some helpful W4 owner please make a short test to clarify the soundstage presentation for me? Listen to Eagles / Hell Freezes Over (the live record), track 5 "Tequila Sunrise". At 1:16 into the song there's a castanet sound that should be heard from far right, but still in front of you. If it plays from behind your head (like with the SM3), the W4 are not for me. Thanks! smile_phones.gif


Edited by james444 - 3/8/11 at 1:18pm
post #1185 of 5325
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


Ok, could some helpful W4 owner please make a short test to clarify the soundstage presentation for me? Listen to Eagles / Hell Freezes Over (the live record), track 5 "Tequila Sunrise". At 1:16 into the song there's a castanet sound that should be heard from far right, but still in front of you. If it plays from behind your head (like with the SM3), the W4 are not for me. Thanks! smile_phones.gif


Lol, does it really?  Didn't do the Hell freezes over test on the W4.  I did the same on the DDM and L/R channels were swapped on Hotel California which put me behind the band.  blink.giftongue.gif  I honestly hate discussing SS, it's far more personal than something like FR.

 

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